Get ready for a relaxing and fun christmas at the Spirit of Christmas Fair


spirit_2010 green2+gold[1] [400x300].JPGIndulge and be inspired this winter at the UK’s most stylish and exclusive Christmas shopping experience Spirit of Christmas Fair in association with House & Garden. Taking place 3-7 November 2010 at London’s Kensington Olympia, discover exquisite and desirable brands offering irresistible gift ideas for the season.

The Spirit of Christmas Fair is a collection of over 600 boutique brands, each hand-picked for their quality and originality, offering a sophisticated and exclusive shopping experience and a great day out with friends.

As well as gifts, the Fair offers fashion accessories such as Alison Van Der Lande’s luxurious bags and designer shoes from Gwendolyn Carrie. Renowned homeware designers Jan Constantine and Emma Bridgewater will be introducing their latest collections whilst Beasty Bags offer the perfect children’s gifts from gorgeous cushions to stylish beanbags. There are also natural beauty products, beautiful stationery, toys and games as well as gourmet food and fine wine. Stockings will be amply filled by the many brands exhibiting including dotcomgiftshop who have a fabulous selection of gifts to suit all needs.

If you would like to join us at the fair, tickets are available at or call 0871 230 1089*

Advance adult: ÂŁ16

Advance child (13 and over): ÂŁ8.50

Tickets on the door adult: ÂŁ18

Tickets on the door child (13 and over): ÂŁ9.50

Children 12 and under FREE

*Calls cost 10 pence per minute from BT landlines, calls from mobiles and other networks may vary. Booking fee applies. Advance box office closes 2 November 2010

Oral hygiene goes organic, according to OralClens


Last year alone saw nearly over a third of consumers buying naturally based cosmetic and toiletry products on a regular basis. With this in mind, Oraldent, the oral care specialists, have teamed up natural health expert, Sarah Wilson and has today revealed the nationÂ’s favourite natural ingredients.

Sales of natural cosmetic ranges and other similar products have helped the organics personal care market grow, and it is expected to reach £12 million by 2011. A Datamonitor analyst says “organics lie at the intersection of the health and ethical trends and have therefore benefited hugely from changes in consumer lifestyles in both of these areas.”

With the increase in information available to the public about chemicals and the benefits of all natural products, it is unsurprising that people are looking for healthy alternatives that will be kinder to their bodies.

Some of the leading top ten natural ingredients, noted through repeated use and occurrence in the media were revealed as:

– Coco beans for protecting, moisturising and rejuvenating

– Sesame oil for protection from bright sunlight

– Virgin olive oil for anti-ageing

– Lavender for anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory purposes

One leading ingredient found within the top ten, was oranges. Citroxx, is an anti-microbial agent extracted from the pith of oranges and has been proven to be 99.998% effective in eradicating the micro-organisms that cause plaque, known to be associated with gum disease and bad breath.

OralClens Natural, the first ever range of mouthwash and toothpaste completely free from harsh, unnecessary chemicals, is based on Citroxx and does not contain sodium lauryl sulphate or sodium benzoate, which makes it attractive to consumers who wish to purchase natural products. It is widely accepted that inadequate oral hygiene leads to the build up of plaque, which unless removed, can destroy gum tissue and eventually lead to tooth loss.

Richard Thomas, Managing Director of Oraldent, says, “As seen by consumers’ recent spending patterns, there is a very real demand for ethically conscious products. Choosing products which omit harmful chemicals such as sodium benzoate and sodium lauryl sulphate and are linked with natural ingredients with proven efficacy, allows the consumer to purchase natural healthy products. Citroxx, the unique ingredient in our range has also been found in several studies to be effective for tackling well known hospital superbugs MRSA and C-difficile. OralClens Natural provides the consumer with a healthy, natural alternative”.

Says Sarah Wilson, Natural Health Expert, “With the booming interest in natural products, it’s no surprise that consumers are also starting to question what goes into their toothpaste. The supermarket shelves are lined with brands containing abrasives, sweeteners, dyes, preservatives and the foaming agent sodium lauryl sulphate, which has recently been linked with health scares. Whitening toothpastes contain peroxide, which can increase tooth sensitivity and irritate gums, and mouthwashes have harsh chemicals that can throw out the balance of the soft tissue in the mouth. So it makes sense to swap to a ‘green’ product when it comes to dental hygiene. OralClens Natural is a pleasant tasting, safe chemical-free alternative. It has been clinically proven to help maintain healthy teeth and gums, and contains plaque-zapping citroxx, one of nature’s wonder ingredients.”

For more information please call 01480 862080 or visit

The OralClens Natural range is now available nationwide

o OralClens Natural Mouthwash, Mint – Size: 500ml; RSP: £3.99

o OralClens Natural Mouthwash, Citrus – Size: 500ml; RSP: £3.99

o OralClens Natural Toothpaste – Size: 100ml; RSP: £2.49

· Oralclens is available from Waitrose and Tesco

· Oralclens Natural Mouthwash comes in two flavours, Citrus and Mint.

· Sarah Wilson – Former Editor of HereÂ’s Health Magazine and The Author of “Natural Health for Children”.

Natural alternatives to fight depression


Scientific study and clinical experience demonstrate that several natural remedies can help alleviate depression. These include the herb St John’s Wort, 5-HTP and SAMe(S-adenosylmethionine) which work by enhancing the brain’s production of the well-being hormone serotonin.

SAMe is a natural substance that the body can produce itself from the essential acid methionine and the cell fuel ATP. Found in all our cells SAMe plays an important role in critical biochemical processes, assisting other body’s chemicals to convert into serotonin.

Researchers from the University of Alabama in the US in the late 1980s found that depressed patients were not making enough of their own SAMe in their brains. After checking red cells from patients suffering from depression and schizophrenia, they discovered a decreased amount of a chemical called methionine adenosyl transferase (MAT), an enzyme necessary for the formation of SAMe.

People who have lower levels of SAMe tend to have high levels of the protein homocysteine in their blood. Homocysteine is implicated in a number of serious illnesses such as heart attack, stroke, liver damage, eye problems and is thought may contribute to the sticky plaques in the brain in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Since a deficiency in the B vitamin, folic acid, is associated with high homocysteine levels, high levels of SAMe may be assisted by eating foods containing folic acid such as asparagus and other green vegetables.

Depression is helped by a balanced diet which should include essential fatty acids from fish and nut which feed the brain; avoiding alcohol and sugar which cause sugar spikes in the blood, taking a multi-vitamin and minerals, incuding potassium. Vitamin D is helpful for the winter blues.

Exercise including medication and yoga are destressers, as it listening to music.

SAMe can be purchased online as a supplement at It also supports joint and bone health. This supplement should not be taken by anyone with bipolar disorder or pregnant woman.

People who are experiencing profound feelings of sadness and hopelessness should seek professional help. Natural herbs and supplements should not be taken in conjunction with other drugs and advice should always be sought from a medical professional before taking natural herbs and medicines for depression.

Oriental beauty that works from the inside out


Beauty from the inside out in the buzz for 2008. Whilst it is the creams and lotions of major high street brands that tend to grab the headlines, there are some more traditional remedies that people have been using for centuries and which can have just as good, if not better results.

Bucking the trend – The Forgotton Omega

Whilst Omegas 3 and 6, the essential fatty acids, have been hailed as the ‘must have’ ingredients for healthy skin, there is another Omega that could play an even bigger role. The richest source of this Forgotton Omega is an oil from a prickly shrub known as Sea Buckthorn, which now it has reached the shores of the UK could quickly find itself as the must have of 2008

Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae Rhamnoides) is a well recognized source of traditional herbal medicine, vitamins and nutrients, and has been used in parts of Asia as an anti-aging and medicinal skin care product for many hundreds of years. Whilst the berries of the Sea Buckthorn plant have been hailed as ‘exotic’ superfoods, with numerous uses and being rich in many important nutrients, it is their effect on skin that has received the most attention.

The first person to think of extracting the oil from this prickly shrub and rub it on their skin must have been thought mad by their piers, but due to its high content of nutrients, essential for the metabolism of skin cells, Sea Buckthorn helps to combat wrinkles, dryness and other symptoms of malnourished or prematurely aging skin.

Scientists now believe our most delicate body tissues, especially the skin membranes, use Omega 7 fatty acids as vital building blocks and one of the most concentrated sources of Omega 7 is Sea Buckthorn. Environmental stressors, such as sunlight and pollution, poor diet, and even normal aging, can challenge these sensitive membranes, and Omega 7 fatty acids are now being hailed as important agents to nourish, protect, replenish, moisturise, and restore.

Whilst the body can make Omega 7 itself, unlike Omegas 3 and 6, it is nevertheless thought that supplementation with Omega 7 could have large health implications for the skin and other bodily membranes.

Studies now support the use of Sea Buckthorn Oil1 for problem skin, including conditions such as eczema and dermatitis, and confirm that it is largely the berriesÂ’ high content of Omega 7 that is behind the benefits. This effect of Sea Buckthorn on external membranes has led to further research into how supplementation can help with digestive and genital tract lining problems 2.

Sea Buckthorn also contains Omegas 3, 6 and 9 and has been linked to various other health benefits including boosting the immune system and further anti-aging properties.

So, to give your skin a new start in 2008 and help get it looking fresh and young you should remember the prickly Sea Buckthorn and the Forgotten Omega.

Sea Buckthorn is a new product in the UK, but a high quality Sea Buckthorn supplement is available from Superdragon at < ahref="">

Radiate With Reishi

Hailed as the Oriental secret of youth, health and beauty Reishi remains relatively unknown in the West, but this mystical mushroom could be the key to radiant skin, increased energy levels, lower stress, better sleep, and overall improved health.

There is no doubt that Reishi is big business with annual sales estimated at 3 billion dollars and it is one of the highest regarded remedies in Chinese medicine, but its rarity, until recently, has meant it has not been readily available in the UK. The launch of Mikei Red Reishi Essence may be about to change this though and we could soon be singing the praises of ‘God’s Herb’.

Whilst exotic culinary mushrooms have seen a huge surge of sales in the UK, as we have become more experimental in the kitchen, medicinal mushrooms remain largely undiscovered. With some serious research supporting their benefits however and hundreds of years of medicinal use behind them, we could be seriously missing out.

Reishi is a very rare mushroom and one of the highest regarded remedies in Chinese medicine, having been taken medicinally in extract form for at least 2,000 years. The mushroom plays a central role in Eastern medicine and is known as ‘God’s Herb’ and the ‘Mushroom of Immortality’, with a huge number of health benefits and studies to support its use.

Sceptics will no doubt claim Reishi to be another snake oil, but with literally hundreds of studies and thousands of astonishing testimonials supporting its use, it is hard to argue that there isnÂ’t serious scope for the mushroom to play an important role in improving peopleÂ’s health and lifestyles.

Outside of its medicinal use, Reishi could play an important role in improving peopleÂ’s appearance and lifestyle. Reishi extracts are said to have powerful anti-aging effects3; studies showing the mushroom has strong anti-oxidant properties may be partly behind this, but it may also be related to improved blood flow4, and therefore delivery of important nutrients to the skin.

Extracts of the mushroom have also been seen to help balance blood sugar levels and regulate adrenal responses to create optimal and balanced energy levels throughout the day5. In addition, studies have shown that anxiety can be reduced when using the mushroom regularly, leading to lower stress levels and better sleep6.

Furthermore regular consumption of Reishi is seen to help cleanse the body of accumulated toxins and excess lipids (fats), lower stress and anxiety and help boost the immune system7, 8. It is easy to see then why Reishi was once reserved solely for the use of Emperors.

One of the many pluses of Reishi extracts is that their effects can be seen and felt so quickly and there are no side-effects from its use. Within just a matter of days you should start feeling and looking better in yourself from taking good quality extracts of Reishi.

The quality of Reishi mushrooms can vary dramatically however and it has taken until now for a superior product to reach the UK and be launched mainstream.

Mikei Red Reishi Essence is a Reishi extract that couldnÂ’t be easier to use and comes in ready to swallow vegetable based capsules; for general health and well-being only one capsule needs to be taken daily. Extracted from mushrooms grown in Japan, Mikei Red Reishi Essence is the most concentrated and high quality Reishi extract on the market and is now available in the UK from Haeon Limited. Buy online at or from leading health stores.

From Manchuria 221BC to Hollywood 2008AD

We tend think of the concept of detoxing, the process by which we rid the body of toxins to help us look and feel better, as a new one; but a detox trend that has recently hit Hollywood isnÂ’t so much new as over two thousand years old.

Madonna, Lynsey Lohan, Kirsten Dunst, Meg Ryan and, most recently, Halle Berry are among stars to have been seen drinking a unique health drink called Kombucha.

Whilst modern research has shown that Kombucha may help combat the effects of toxins in the body9, increase life span10 and beat stress induced conditions11 Kombucha tea is in fact an ancient remedy that originates from China. With records of consumption dating back to the Chinese Tsin Dynasty of 221BC, Zen masters declared Kombucha to be a source of ‘Chi’ – life energy which aligns and harmonises the body with the soul.

Kombucha is a totally unique drink, produced in a natural and organic process from an infusion of green tea, black tea and sugar being metabolised by the Kombucha mushroom (a symbiotic colony of friendly bacteria and fission yeasts). As the yeasts breakdown the sugar and combine with the tea, a beautifying and energizing and potent brew of organic acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals is created, which is thought to be behind a whole host of health benefits.

Kombucha is full of probiotic-rich acids12, which help to populate the large intestine with ‘friendly bacteria’ and dissolve harmful micro-organisms. The gut contains a natural level of these ‘friendly bacteria’ which keep levels of possible disease causing bacteria under control. By supporting and increasing the probiotic bacteria in the stomach this helps to re-establish the levels, that can become reduced through over-indulgence, and hence cleanse the body.

A further detox benefit of Kombucha is, because it is packed full of anti-oxidants 13, its action as an adaptogen – a natural substance that increases the body’s resistance to stresses such as trauma, anxiety and bodily fatigue. Adoptogens, and Kombucha in particular, are said to work on a wide array of conditions from wrinkles to diabetes and help to restore balance and support the immune system 13, leading to you feeling better on the inside and out.

Furthermore Kombucha is thought to help curb alcohol cravings; especially useful for those detoxing in the New Year!

The drink itself is a tangy, carbonated beverage. The UKÂ’s leading brand is Gourmet Kombucha Probiotic, which has just been re-launched in January 2008 as GaiaÂ’s Organic Kombucha. It will be available directly from Gaia Brands Ltd at < ahref=""> and from leading independent health stores, in Peach, Blackcurrant and original Green Tea flavours.


1. Skin inflammation: A randomized controlled trial has demonstrated the benefit of supplementation with sea buckthorn on symptoms of patients with atopic dermatitis (Yang et al, 1999).

2. Healthy mucous membranes/vaginal dryness: The benefits of omega-7 PUFAs in maintaining healthy mucous membranes, and in reducing vaginal dryness in menopausal women have been reviewed by Yang & Kallio (2002).

3. Novel antioxidant peptides from the fermented mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (reishi). Sun J; He H; Xie B.

4. Cardiovascular Effects of Mycelium Extract of Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi): Inhibition of sympathetic outflow as a mechanism of its hypotensvie action. Lee S Y ; Rhee H M.

5. A randomised, double-blind and placebo-controlled study of a Ganoderma lucidum (reishi) polysaccharide extract in neurasthenia. Tang W; Gao Y; Chen G et al.

6. A preliminary study on the sleep-improvement function of the effective ingredients of Ganoderma lucidum (reishi) fruiting body. Jia, W; Wu M et al.

7. The protective effect of Mikei Red Reishi Essence on chemical induced liver injury. Jiang X.

8. Immunomodulating Activities of Gandomerma lucidum (reishi) and its possible mechanisms. Lin Z; Zhang E

9. Lead induced oxidative stress: beneficial effects of Kombucha tea. Dipti P, Yogesh B, Kain AK, Pauline T, Anju B, Sairam M, Singh B, Mongia SS, Kumar GI, Selvamurthy W. Biomed Environ Sci. 2003 Sep;16(3):276-82.

10. P.Studies on toxicity, anti-stress and hepato-protective properties of Kombucha tea. auline T, Dipti P, Anju B, Kavimani S, Sharma SK, Kain AK, Sarada SK, Sairam M, Ilavazhagan G, Devendra K, Selvamurthy W. Biomed Environ Sci. 2001 Sep;14(3):207-13.

11. Effects of chronic kombucha ingestion on open-field behaviors, longevity, appetitive behaviors, and organs in c57-bl/6 mice: a pilot study. Hartmann AM, Burleson LE, Holmes AK, Geist CR. Nutrition. 2000 Sep;16(9):755-61

12. Kombucha fermentation and its antimicrobial activity. Sreeramulu G, Zhu Y, Knol W.
J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Jun;48(6):2589-94.

13. Effect of Kombucha tea on chromate(VI)-induced oxidative stress in albino rats. Sai Ram M, Anju B, Pauline T, Dipti P, Kain AK, Mongia SS, Sharma SK, Singh B, Singh R, Ilavazhagan G, Kumar D, Selvamurthy W. J. Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Jul;71(1-2):235-40.

Brigitta Lark – bespoke organic beauty – Mayfair London


10% discount

Brigatta Lark
Lower Ground Floor, 73 Duke Street, Mayfair, London W1K 5BY. Appointments T: + 44 (0)7855 940 946 or visit

Brigitta who trained in Hungary is known for her tailor-made facials. This experience in the hands of the expert will leave your skin glowing and rejuvenated with effects that last. And its all organic. Using the finest cherry-picked selection of professional, chemical-free, organic products to deliver great results.

Brigitta is now offering the greenest, customised beauty treatments in London while developing her own bespoke organic skincare range. Don’t miss out or settle for less! She also has a range of gift vouchers perfect for that special present.

Real food shock – at London festival


London: WeÂ’ve hand-picked the very best produce and ingredients that we could find to bring you the biggest Farmers Market in the country and you, being as passionate about produce as we are, should come and meet some of the best producers, taste their delectable produce, learn from them and challenge your tastebuds.

Over 500 producers will gather at Earls Court 24-7 April 2008 to celebrate food that is good, clean and fair. With all the talk about the integrity, quality, provenance & sustainability of food in the UK and around the world, we thought it would be a great idea to show you the choices that are out there.

The big difference with the Real Food Festival is that the producers that are hand picked to attend are also heavily subsidised to exhibit. This means that you will get the opportunity to meet some of the best and smallest producers in the world and eat some of the most fabulous food that will leave your mouth watering and your toes tingling!

As well as the amazing producers, you will also be able to learn how to bake bread with food guru Barny Haughton of BristolÂ’s renowned Bordeaux Quay, taste wines with the maker, challenge yourself in a food debate, tantalise your tastebuds in a taste workshops, meet some pigs, follow a produce trail or just chill on a hay bale and listen to a farmers story. Real Food is passionate not preachy, the integrity of the festival will challenge the way most of us think about food on a day to day basis and will inspire a wide audience to change their eating habits in favour of a more sustainable way of eating and enjoying produce.

The FestivalÂ’s Taste workshops will teach you all sorts of things from the differences between cows and goats milk to wheat and malt beers. The workshops provide the ultimate test for your taste buds, created by eco-gastronomes Clodagh McKenna and Sebastiano Sardo of Foodiscovery.

The Real Food Festival is not just a London event. We have just returned from a gastronomic road trip around the country where we have been meeting local producers, from Jersey to Orkney. You will be able to meet the people who reared the pigs, planted the carrots, milked the cows and crushed the grapes: you can taste their produce, learn about it and take it home.

Eco Icons such as Zac Goldsmith, fully support our festival, ‘The way we eat, what we eat, where our food comes from, these are central issues. The Real Food Festival will change the way we think about food and give producers and consumers an opportunity to meet and share their passion for authentic quality produce’.

We promise to celebrate the diversity of modern artisan food, from producer to plate. Visitors will be able to meet and speak to 500 hand-picked producers from Britain and the world.

Visit our website The Real Food Festival to get updates of our journey. Tickets which can be bought online cost ÂŁ15.

Arthritis impotence warning highlights natural alternatives to drugs

Men who take painkillers, known as NSAID’s. for arthritis are twice as likely to suffer impotence, according to new research from the University of Finland.

The research, published in the Journal of Urology, is the first to make a link between NSAIDÂ’s and impotence. Previously it was widely known that arthritis sufferers experience a higher incidence of impotence, but the new study is the first to reveal the possible underlying cause of why this is the case.

Approximately 1 in 10 men suffer from impotence at some point during their lives, 30% of cases are sue to psychological problems but the remaining 70% are due to underlying physical causes. Last month another report linked painkillers to increased risk of heart attack.

A new breakthrough treatment for arthritis has been shown in published research to deliver effective pain relief to stiff, painful joints within just 30 minutes of application, making it 15% faster and more effective than any oral or topical NSAIDÂ’s (Non-Steroid Anti Inflammatory Drugs) currently available.

The new treatment, called Celafen™, contains a unique clinically tested patented ingredient called celadrin ®, which is made from a special complex of esterified fatty acids (EFA’s). Celafen™ has the further advantage of having no dangerous side effects, such as those linked to NSAIDs. In addition research suggests that NSAID’s may actually inhibit the growth of cartilage in joints and so in the long term be detrimental to arthritis sufferers.

The most common symptoms of arthritis are pain, stiffness, reduced joint range of movement and limitations to normal daily activities, such as getting up from a chair, walking, balance and ascending/descending stairs.

Several pieces of published research, including two recent studies in the prestigious Journal of Rheumatology, have measured the effect that celadrin® has on all of the arthritic symptoms listed above with convincing results. The researchers found that celadrin ® improved each symptom just 30 minutes after the topical cream was applied, which is significantly faster than any other topical or oral form of pain relief for joint pain and stiffness.

Celafen™ comes as both a topical cream and as oral capsules and is a natural product that works by lubricating the cell membranes and repelling inflammatory chemicals responsible for the pain, stiffness and reduced mobility associated with arthritis

A published double blind, multicentre, placebo-controlled trial (the most scientifically validated) on 64 participants found that those taking oral capsules containing celadrin ® had more flexibility, fewer aches, less pain and were able to walk further distances than the placebo group after the 9 week trial period.

Taken orally Celafen ™ takes longer to take effect than the topical cream, although it has a more accumulative effect over time. The most effective results have been seen in people using the product both orally and topically.

UK GP Dr Donald Grant comments: “There is good evidence for the efficacy of long chain fatty acids in preparations such as Celafen ™ for the treatment of pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. Obviously Celafen ™ will not be suitable for everyone and as the evidence suggests that results from the cream are seen fairly rapidly (within 30 minutes in many cases), therefore if no results are seen within a month I would suggest people stop using the product as it is clearly not working for them. But in my opinion it is worth trying because if preparations like Celafen help reduce arthritis sufferer’s dependence on NSAIDs, and there is good evidence to suggest that it might, this can only be a good thing.”

Celafen ™ is a natural formulation and is free from all parabens and propylene glycol.

Celafen ™ Cream costs £14.99 for a month’s supply: Celafen ™ Oral Capsules cost £14.99 for a month’s supply. The cost of the two products together in a Celafen ™ Combination Pack is £24.99 for a month’s supply. Celafen ™ is available from or call: 0871 871 9975

Celafen UK Jan 2006 Trial results

The UK consumer trial on 20 arthritis sufferers using Celafen cream, completed in January 2006, found that for 83% of participants their self – assessed pain rating was reduced from an average of approximately 7 out of 10 to 4 after just 30 minutes. The average pain rating was further reduced to 3 out of 10 after one week of use.

The test also included assessment of stiffness, with 92% of participants experiencing a decrease in stiffness and average stiffness ratings dropping from approximately 7 out of 10 down to 5 out of 10 after just 30 minutes, and then to just 3 out of 10 after one weekÂ’s use.

The trial also assessed various functionality tests including timed up and go movements, stair climb, stair descend and distance walking. Approximately 83% of participants experienced improvements in their general functionality within 30 minutes of applying the cream.

Boswellia & Commiphora Cream – a natural anti-inflammatory formulation

Two ancient spices, Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense) and Commiphora Molmol (Myrrh), have been found in combination to be AS successful at reducing pain and inflammation caused by arthritis than conventional NSAIDÂ’s, according to a UK trial by a doctor.

The two spices, which have been formulated into a unique cream, have a long medical history of relieving the inflammation associated with rheumatic and osteopathic forms of arthritis as well as other forms of joint inflammation. There have been over 20 published scientific studies carried out in India and China on these two ingredients in the last 15 years for the treatment of arthritis and other joint inflammation conditions.

But the first UK trial in 2004 using this unique combination was carried out by Dr Robert Jacobs, a GP from Devon on 30 of his arthritic patients, who says it’s the first time he’s come across the use of the spices in Europe for the specific treatment of joint inflammation.

Dr Jacobs says: “Both myself and my wife are arthritis sufferers and have been trying the cream for several weeks now and have found it to be as good, if not better, than conventional prescription anti-inflammatory such as Naproxen, Diclofenac, and Celebrex.

“In my limited experience of ‘no-drugÂ’ arthritis creams, such as tiger balm that is very popular, this cream appears to be significantly more effective for the treatment of joint inflammation either from arthritis or from strain or trauma to the joint. I am surprised these spices have not been used already in a cream as their anti-inflammatory effects are well established and extensively researched elsewhere in the world.”

In addition a subsequent larger trial on 80 patients was carried out in Decemeber 2004 on Boswellia and Commiphora cream. It concluded that the cream had a statistically significant effect both on the pain and stiffness caused by arthritis. Of those on the trial 83% stated that they felt the cream helped them with their arthritis.

Finally a human trial published in 2003 found that all those using Frankincense reported reduced knee pain, more knee flexibility, reduced swelling of the knee joint and an ability to walk much further. The scientists behind the study recommended it for osteoarthritis of the knee and saw possible therapeutic uses for other types of arthritis or joint inflammation.

Boswellia and Commiphora cream costs ÂŁ14.99 (100ml) for a two-month supply. Call: 0871 871 9975 or visit

New sweetner with health benefits launches in UK


London: Perfect Sweet announces the launch of a new, completely natural, low carb, low GI sweetener with a host of health benefits, making it perfect for dieters, diabetics, children, dental patients, mums-to-be and women at high risk of osteoporosis – as well as anyone concerned about oral health and general well-being.

A deliciously sweet alternative to sugar for everyday use, Perfect Sweet is derived entirely from xylitol, a naturally occurring substance found in strawberries, plums and pears. Whilst it looks and tastes just as good as sugar, it offers a much healthier alternative.

Because xylitol releases its energy, much slower than any other sugar or sweetener, people who eat it in the place of sugar feel fuller for longer and are less likely to snack. This makes Perfect Sweet deal for diabetics or others for those on low GI diets who need to keep their blood sugar stable.

Xylitol contains 40% fewer calories than conventional sugar and has a GI (Glycemic Index) count of just seven, compared to conventional sugar (which has a GI of 49). That means you would have to eat up to seven times as much Perfect Sweet to have the same effect on your blood sugar – or your hips. For those on a low carb diet, xylitol makes an ideal companion too, with it having 75% fewer available carbohydrates than sugar.

Perfect Sweet has a number of other surprising health benefits, which makes it much more than just another alternative to sugar. Added to a range of food and drinks such as tea, coffee, smoothies, cereals, fruit puddings or snacks, Perfect Sweet can turn everyday drinks and food into delicious health products.

“We all know the consequences of our addiction to sugar: weight gain, mood swings, skin problems, diabetes, oral cavities and even infections such as overgrowth of Candida Albicans, which is though to lead to thrush and many other afflictions,” says Edward Baylis at Perfect Sweet. “But until now there just hasn’t been a satisfactory, non-chemical alternative to sugar. The most exciting thing about Perfect Sweet is that for the first time we have a 100% natural, completely healthy product, that is not only as delicious as the stuff we’re used to, but actually delivers a host of positive health benefits. This is the kind of product parents will be encouraging their kids to eat!”

Priced at ÂŁ2.69 for a 225g pack, Perfect Sweet is available in selected SainsburyÂ’s, Tesco, Holland and Barrett and Waitrose stores. For more information

More benefits of Perfect Sweet

Oral Health
One of the major discoveries in respect to xylitol was the discoveryfinding that when it iwas broken down in the mouth and stomach it produces an alkaline environment, rather than an acidic one , which like like sugar does. This means thatIn this alkaline environment the bacteria that cause tooth decay canÂ’t survive and decay is prevented. Thee alkaline environment which is created also favours calcium and mineral absorption so enamel decay is even seen to be reversed.

Increased calcium absorption in the stomach has led to studies observing a much improved bone density (stronger bones) when using xylitol regularly. This could be a potentially massive be a huge help for those living with conditions such as osteoporosis.

Bacterial and Yeast Infections
The killing of bacteria with xylitol, has further led to the discovery that ear infections, and other bacterial and yeast infections (such as thrush), can be prevented when using it. There has been particular interest in the use of xylitol to help prevent ear infections in young children.



Acupressure is an ancient healing art eveloped in Asia over 5,000 years ago. It is a similar technique to acupuncture and uses pressure applied using the fingers (instead of needles) on 12 energy meridians, with the aim of stimulating the body’s natural self-curative abilities.

The pressure is said to release any muscular tension promoting the circulation of blood and assisting the body to self-heal. The benefits of acupressure include pain relief, balancing the body and maintaining good health. It also helps reduce tension, increases circulation, and enables deep relaxation of the body. By relieving stress, acupressure strengthens resistance to disease and promotes wellness. Varying rhythms,pressures, and techniques create different styles of acupressure. Shiatsu, for instance, tbe most well-known style of acupressure, can be quite vigorous, with firm pressure applied to each point for only three to five seconds, while the Jin Shin style of acupressure gently holds each point for a minute or more. A variety of bodywork styles is taught along with massage on tables and floor mats.

Further information can be obtained from the Acupuncture Council – see next entry.